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Archive for Real Estate

In November and December, I’m featuring business planning. Why? Because we’re all told to make business plans. But, it’s estimated that only about 20% of leadership and less than that for agents–actually have plans.

What is ‘Intentional Planning’?

It’s making a behavioral-based action plan–which answers the questions What are you going to do?

When are you going to do it? 

How are you going to go about it?

The Science Behind this Component

A study in Advances in Experimental Social Psychology conducted with 8000 participants found that intentional planning was the key factor in a successful habit change. This approach increased the chance of successful change by 50-80%!

The ‘Secret’ to Change

We regularly declare our intentions. But, we rarely get specific about them. When we’re not specific, we don’t have a roadmap to chart that change. We don’t know the actions to take. In order to change our intentions from ‘general’ and ‘philosophical’ to action-based, we need to answer these questions:

What

When

How–what shall we practice? How shall we do it?

The Reason Most Business Plans Fail

As a manager and trainer, I’ve seen all sorts of business plans. I’ve seen all sorts of business planning templates. Unfortunately, many plans stay in the ‘what’–the philosophical statements or just the numbers. Inferior templates encourage this flawed thought process. So, people blithely create these business plans, focusing only on the ‘what’, set them on the shelf, and continue doing exactly what they have been doing!!! So, they get the same results.

Fire Up Your Agents with Intentional Planning

Here’s how to use intentional planning to fire up your agents. I’m always looking for tips in motivating others (and myself). I found a great article from my personal trainer. It says that ‘intentional planning’ is the biggest component to obtain your goals.

My Business Planning System ‘Forces’ This Thought Process

Having used those flawed plans and having seen my agents and other managers fail with them, I built into my business planning system and templates the when and how. So, My system actually forces the user to think through the whole process–to get to the weekly/daily action plans that will help change their business habits for the better.

How Specific is YOUR Plan?

The acid test: Could I take your business plan, follow it, and see results? If it’s not that action-oriented, you can’t follow it either!

As Michael Gerber, author of the E-Myth Real Estate Agent and the E-Myth Revisited, stated

The integration of your systems is your business plan.

Be sure the business planning system and templates you’re following direct your thinking from the ‘what’ to the when and the how. Now you’re cooking!

Managers: As you’re counseling your agents, be sure their plans get to ‘where the rubber meets the road’. Could you follow their plan–or is it just a series of numbers or high-fallutin’ statements?

Complimentary Business Planning Webinar

Get inspired to create that business plan you’ve been wanting for a better 2021!

It’s been a chaotic, year, where our best laid plans have been tossed upside down. That’s why doing a fresh, creative business plan is so important right now.

Register here for How to Build the Best Business Plan Ever.

You’ll gain:

  • A new way to think through your business so you have a plan that works
  • The missing planning step that assures your plan will work for you
  • The biggest change to make to thrive in 2021
  • Insights with 10 questions to answer BEFORE you commit to action
  • The seven best recommendations to put in your plan

Included: Strategic business planning handouts and 2 bonuses for managers

When: November 16 (Monday)                     1-2 PM Pacific Standard Time

Register now.

I created the only internationally published book for real estate agents on business planning, and I can help you and your agents build exceptional plans.

You’ve interviewed dozens–maybe hundreds of would-be agents. What behaviors have you seen them exhibit that indicate they will be successful in real estate?

What are behaviors that #successful agents exhibit? What are the #attributes of successful real estate agents?

Make your list here. Now, compare it to the behaviors I listed in my book I wrote to educate prospective real estate agents. 

What They May Exhibit that will Assure Failure

It may be easier to make a list of the behaviors that assure someone won’t make money fast enough in our competitive, self-starting business:

  1. Never had a job until mid-twenties.
  2. Still lives at home.
  3. Doesn’t have to make a living.
  4. Has never taken initiative to try something new. 
  5. Hates having to reach out to talk to people.
  6. Loves technology; fears people.
  7. Has had 7 jobs in 7 years.
  8. Doesn’t believe in having to learn from someone or be led.
  9. Gives up easily.

What should I add to that list?

How to Use this Information in the # Real Estate Interview Process

Are you familiar with behavior-based questions? They are questions that ask a person about his past behavior. Why? Because past behavior determines future behavior. (Not always, just 95% of the time. Do you like those odds?) I don’t mean that what someone does specifically determines she will do that again. This is what I mean:

As you listen to a person tell a story about his past, listen for themes that run through the story. For example: One of the behaviors good agents exhibit is tenacity. They just don’t give up. They accept rejection and keep going. If someone or something is difficult, they wade through it. 

The question: Think of a time in your life when you thought of giving up–a time when you really wanted something, but getting it seemed difficult or out of reach. Describe what happened. 

Don’t interrupt. Don’t ask another question. Just hum, agree, or probe. Find out all you can about that story. As you listen, ask yourself:

Does that person have enough ________________ to be a success in real estate?

Your turn. Look at my list of behaviors. What should I add?

I’m updating my book for prospective agents. Please help me create a book that’s different, insightful, and helpful to both the prospective agent and the manager/interviewer. Thank you!

You’ve probably interviewed dozens of would-be agents. What do you wish they had known before they committed to a real estate career?

What should an agent know before committing to real estate as a career?

After interviewing dozens of would-be agents, I had compiled a stack of paper that I handed out to interviewees. I was trying to educate them so they could make a good career decision. One day, one of my recent recruits said, “You should put that in a book.” So, I did. Now, I’m creating a new edition of the book. I’ve renamed the book

Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

What should be in the book? What’s most important for that would-be agent to know? What mistakes do would-be agents make in choosing companies? What could I add to make

Saving Management Time

From all those interviews, I found I wasn’t really interviewing. I was educating. What could I include in the book that would save you interview time, and prepare the candidate for a real interview?

What misconceptions do would-be agents bring into the business that cause them to start slowly or fail?

Blast-Off for Launching Right

I’m planning on having the edits done by Dec. 1, so the eBook will be available a few weeks after that. Please add your experience and expertise so I know the contents will be useful to real estate managers.

Just leave me a comment and contribute to our industry. Thank you!

Recently, Real Estate Bees, a real estate educational site, asked us coaches about our opinions and business as #COVID hit the industry and #real estate coaches. You may be surprised at some of the responses. It’s a pleasure to be named one of these #real estate industry experts –along with my cohorts on this site.

Here’s the article:

Covid Impact on Real Estate Coaches.

How has this business pivot affected your business?

How to Organize Your Virtual Presentation for Greatest Impact

You had three hours to give your presentation live. Now, you’re going to give that presentation #virtually. Not so fast. You just can’t keep them riveted to you online for three hours! You’ll need to take out the paring scissors and cut your presentation to under an hour. Why? Because that’s all the time you can expect people to stay focused on you. If you wonder if that’s true, ask attendees how long they can stay focused on an #online presentation? When I asked, 50% said ten minutes or less. So, give up on the long, tedious virtual presentations. That means you’ll have to do some re-organization before you turn on that camera.

Overall Organization that Works

I just read an article in Training magazine by one of my heroes, Bob Pike. Author of 30 books, and founder of an international training organization, Bob’s advice is always expert, practical, and proven. Here are some of the points he made to create effective #virtual presentations, along with my points and comments.  

Compare Your Presentation

Right now, draw your online presentation organization.

Do you have an introduction? How long is it? (no more than two minutes)

Do you have a planned ending? Does it involve your participants?

How long are you talking before you involve your audience? Are you involving them at the beginning?

How many times do you #involve your audience within those 45 minutes? (at least every 4 minutes)

How varied are your #attendee activities? How are you keeping attendee attention during your virtual presentation?

Give Me Your Rating

How would you rate the presentations you’ve attended lately–on a scale of 1 to 10? Why?

You know who this is. Read how he turned an exceptional basketball career into an even more successful business career.

I can’t do it. It’s someone else’s fault. If only….I’ll never be able to. I tried that once. It didn’t work. It won’t work for me. Give me (you fill in the blanks) or else I can’t succeed.

You’ve heard all these reasons why someone can’t succeed. (Makes me depressed just reading this list.) So, it’s refreshing to hear someone speak about how to succeed—with no excuses.  I don’t mean that we all don’t at times need a hand up. But, those are the few times.  They don’t become our mantra.

I just watched a video where a UPS executive interviewed Magic. Here are some of Magic’s insightful comments.

Dream it First to Live It

At age 16, Magic was a janitor while in school. He would go sit in the CEO’s chair and pretend he was the CEO; giving orders, making decisions, acting like a CEO. He said he always wanted to be an entrepreneur, not just a basketball player. Look what happened.

What are you dreaming?

On Not Giving Up

As Magic transitioned from famous, successful pro basketball player to businessman, he thought his fame would magically open doors and make him successful. He found it opened doors (they all wanted to meet him), but, it didn’t get him the funding he needed to expand his business. He was turned down ten times before a bank took a chance on him.

How tenacious are you?

Network and Lead Generate and Learn

Magic wanted to find out what was important to prominent people. He got the list of Lakers season ticket holders, and called up to 50 a day. Many met with him, and several became investors with him.

Are you lead generating with tenacity?

Tailor to your Target

Magic was an early investor in Starbucks, and has over 125 Starbucks locations today. He met with Howard Schultz, the founder and then president, and told him he needed to tailor his Starbucks businesses to his clientele. You can imagine where Magic wanted to place his Starbucks. He told Mr. Schultz he didn’t want that music that was in most Starbucks stores. He wanted Michael Jackson, Beyonce, etc. He didn’t want scones. You get the picture.

Are you targeting your marketing to your audiences?

Hire and Work with the Best

Magic says, if you find great talent, you don’t need to micro-manage them. This comes from his experience as a basketball player.

Are you affiliating with the best? Do you need to ‘up your game’ interviewing? 

Shine Your Light on Others to Succeed

As you help others succeed, you’ll succeed. Magic says his reason for being in business is to help others. He’s helped thousands of minority business people launch businesses. This comes, too, from his experience as a basketball player. His mentoring others resulted in more success for everyone.

Are you providing a hand up to qualified, determined talent?

Learn from Everyone

Magic believes everyone has something he can learn from. He values each person and seeks their contributions. He says he loves to learn and he’s constantly learning.

Are you learning from those you’re around?

Add Value

Magic believes the secret of business success is to add value. When he meets with someone, he thinks about how he can add value for that person.

Are you adding value to those you work with, coach, or teach?

Does your Interview Process Need Polishing?

Check out this system for selecting winners. Save time, money, and training. See it here.

Build this into your training; get better audience attention.

According to my informal surveys, real estate trainers say that keeping the audience’s attention is their biggest challenge. Here’s an easy and fun way to put a great motivator into your online training.

Behavior that’s rewarded is repeated.

Reward the Behaviors You Want

What do you want your attendees to do? Pay attention, coordinate with each other, do work outside class? Decide first what is important o you–and them. Then, choose some rewards for the behaviors you want in your virtual classroom.

Behavior Wanted: Put the Ideas to Work after Class

Recently, I did a webinar on how to convert your classroom course to online.  I wanted to help attendees take these ideas and immediately apply them to their courses. I was concerned that, because there was lots of material in a short period of time, attendees could be overwhelmed and not know how to start. So,  I promised I’d send my Big Ideas in a Little Book to the first 10 people who emailed me after the webinar, telling me what they were going to implement right away.

I will also follow up with my ten ‘winners’ to find out how they’ve implemented their ideas. This can form another blog or article, and give them some publicity (if they want it), too.

Question: What ‘reward’ could you offer to participants for finishing work, or promising to put to work some of the ideas in your webinar?

To the left is another example. In my Train the Trainer distance learning program (15 clock hours), I’ve created ‘badges’ that are rewarded for good work. This is just one way I can show that I appreciate the work and dedication of the participants.

Rewards for Doing the Work

A large real estate company I consult to decided to put their initial training course online. Although I know it’s not as simple as turning on the camera, I still found a myriad of operations that needed to be addressed. But, most importantly, I wanted to address the motivation issue. How could I keep the attendees’ attention and compel them to do the work outside class?

Three Solutions

  1. Provide small, immediate rewards for doing the work. Studies show that small rewards, awarded immediately, work much better than big rewards held back until weeks into a course. So, I asked affiliates to provide small rewards that will be handed out (virtually) each week for those who finish all the work.
  2. Reward through creating accountability partners. We’re also pairing up people, and will create some awards for partners who finish the work.
  3. Public” acknowledgment.  The training manager will de-brief attendees at the beginning of each session, and choose ‘heroes’ to acknowledge (those who have done outstanding work).

How do you use rewards as motivators in your online classes?

Help is Here…. 

Want some help in taking your classroom online? Want to get great attention, better long-term learning, and enthusiastic attendees? Call me at 425-392-6914 or email me at carla@carlacross.com. I’d love to put my three+ decades of working with real estate trainers just like you to work to make online training fun, fast, and rewarding!

Your classroom style is awesome! How does it translate to virtual delivery?

You’re great in the classroom. So, are you great on camera? Maybe, maybe not. 

What Makes Us Effective in the Classroom

Most of the time, real estate presenters use lecture and discussion to deliver their messages. It works ‘live’ because we have energy, we have physical presence, and we can add movement to keep the audience’s attention. We even use a high range of vocal inflections. Even though lecture and discussion delivery methods don’t get much participation from audiences, they still can work in short presentations because of the energy, presence, movement, and dynamics we use in the classroom. 

On Camera, It’s a Different Game

Unfortunately, when we present online, we lose

  • our physical presence
  • much of our physical energy
  • our ability to move around
  • our ability to approach the audience and create dialogue with them
  • our ability to use a wide range of vocal dynamics

Using Alternative Teaching Methods Online

When we’re teaching online, we have to stretch our skills and employ some different teaching methods to get participation and keep the audience’s attention. These include:

  • Using break-out rooms
  • Using handouts for work before, during, and after the presentation
  • Using chat feature
  • Using engaging PowerPoint presentations
  • Using whiteboard
  • Using music
  • Using more than one presenter
  • Using polls

Audience Presentation Tip

Use at least one method of audience participation every 5-6 minutes during your presentation so you keep your audience’s attention and interest.

What About You?

How many of these features do you use right now when you teach online? What can you incorporate to get that high audience participation you need?

 

Challenged with getting your classroom to work online? I’d love to help you. Having done webinars for over 15 years, and taught Instructor Development Workshops for three decades, I know how to make your classroom work online easily so you’ll have more fun teaching. Contact me and we’ll talk! 425-392-6914 or carla@carlacross.com.

It’s here now, and it’s here to stay. Why not take this time to refine your online training skills?

Do you need to go online with your presentations and courses’?  In real estate, we’re not doing any ‘live’ teaching. So, this is a great time, to adjust your communication and training strategy to reach out.

I’ve been doing webinars for years, and, I learned so much working with pros like Amy Chorew while I presented through National Association of Realtors doing business planning webinars. I really worked on my technique, and was always rated in the top three presenters.

Unfortunately, many of the Zoom training and presentations have been–shall I say it–boring! Here is what I learned from the best, the mistakes I’ve made as I’ve learned, and the strategies that will help you create effective online communications and training as we go forward.    

Today, you need to take your training courses online if you’re a

  • Trainer
  • Coach
  • Manager
  • Team leader
  • Salesperson

and in today’s world, we HAVE to communicate digitally–at least for awhile. The good news is that it forces us to get really good at this type of communication so we can reach more people more effectively. I hate it when I ask people what they think of webinars and they say that last PowerPoint presentation was

boring/dull/repetitive/ill-organized/no fun……..

But, if you’re skilled at presenting online, you can

  • Inform
  • Introduce
  • Sell
  • Increase your image

Webinars: An Easy Solution to Training

What can a webinar do? First, what it can’t do. Don’t expect it to  

Change people’s behavior (it’s not training. It’s education). Webinars are not the magic training bullet we’ve wished for. There are limited objectives you can accomplish by doing a webinar. But, I’ve discovered some methods to help ‘attendees’ internalize and apply what they’re learning (see my Train the Trainer sneak preview below).

Of course, the upside of a online training/webinar is that

  • People don’t have to travel to get to the an event
  • It’s very cost-effective
  • It puts you in front of new audiences
  • You can make it evergreen (record it and share it)

Some Basic Choices to Make Before You Start

  1. Your vehicle

Which company will you use to deliver your webinar? There are over 100 companies today offering some type of screen sharing. They range from free to $100+ a month. The free versions companies tout are for a limited number of viewers (usually 5-10). After that, figure on paying for the services. Among the most popular services are Zoom, GoTo Meeting, WebEx, and BrightTalk. Whatever you choose, pick a service that will be easy for you! Getting caught in the technicalities while you are trying to be a sparkling presenter is death by webinar.

  1. What’s your message?

Boy, this one seems so easy, and yet, it’s where most of us go way off the rails. Why? We try to do too much in too little time with too little organization! (Just like we do in ‘live’ classes). But, it’s more fatal digitally, because it is more challenging to hold people’s attention. So, the next few tips are critical to the success  of your training.

Decide on your topic. Is it something that would lend itself to a webinar? To find out, study webinars you’ve attended. Do some seem too wishy-washy to have been worth your time? Are some so full of facts and figures you snooze off?

Decide on your objectives. In other words, start with the end in mind.  What do you see, hear, and feel the attendees doing at the end of your presentation?

To write your objectives, start with this sentence,

As a result of this webinar, attendees will____________________________. Examples of objectives for a business planning webinar could be:

  • Understand the flow of the strategic business planning process
  • Be able to differentiate between a vision and a mission statement
  • Be able to pinpoint 3 areas of concern about their business from the previous year

After I’ve written my objectives, I know the basic structure of my webinar. I can prioritize those objectives and start arranging my webinar in the right presentation order.

Your Topic: Overview or Detailed?

Is your topic an overview, or is it more detailed? Decide on the scope of your topic, and your objectives, before going further.

Common webinar mistake: Either being so global there is little information, or being so detailed you lose the audience in facts and figures.

Sound Familiar?

If you’ve taken my Instructor Development Workshop or my online learning version, Train the Trainer, you’ve learned what objectives are and how to write and apply them in creating your training/presentation/digital class. 

After deciding on your desired delivery company, and drafting your topic and objectives, you’re ready for the next step. In the next blog, we’ll discuss best presentation methods–and common presentation mistakes.

See What a Digital Course Looks Like and How it’s Organized

Necessity is the mother of invention!!!! Oh, boy, have I learned that. I decided to put my distance learning program in new course software. In doing so, I’ve found out how to help people internalize important concepts and apply them to great, concrete, immediately-usable results. Here’s a sneak preview of my Train the Trainer program. It fulfills the requirement for attendees to teach clock hour approved courses in Washington state, and is accredited for 15 clock hours.

Train the Trainer Sneak Preview

In later posts, I’ll share some strategies I’ve found work really well in creating online presentations and courses that involve, inform, and entertain.

You don’t have to talk through your online presentation! Here’s a method to involve your audience AND be memorable.

You’re teaching virtually now. But, 90%+ of real estate instructors have told me they had taught only in the classroom prior to the pandemic.  For most real estate instructors, teaching virtually is a new challenge.

Admittedly, you can’t just transfer what you do in the classroom to online. Instead, translate some of the effective teaching strategies from your classroom to a virtual format.

You Don’t Have to Do All the Work

How ‘passive’ is your virtual classroom or presentation? Are you doing all the work? Are your attendees merely listening? Take what works in that classroom and use it in a bit different format online.

When you’re teaching ‘live’: Do you have your attendees doing some work, either during or after your course? If so, it will be easy for you to ‘translate’ that to your online platform. 

Use a Handout with Work to be Done

Recently, I demonstrated this teaching method in a webinar for those who want to take their classrooms online. I created a handout for each participant to use during the webinar. There were questions for them to answer as they proceeded in the webinar. As I addressed a topic, I provided some ‘time out’ for participants to decide how they could use that idea in their own course. By the time they finished the webinar, they had filled out a page of ideas on how to ‘translate’ that ‘live’ course to an online platform. See that handout with the masterclass video mentioned below.

Question: What work or handout could you provide to use as you introduced topics in your webinar? How could you involve students in completing the questions? How could you follow up with that handout?

Idea: You could use breakout rooms during your presentation to have your attendees share the ideas they were gaining from your presentation. This helps them translate your ideas to their situations and gives them support and motivation to get creative. 

Caveat: Do not hand out your Power Point presentation. First, that’s not an outline. (I hope you haven’t done that live!). Second, you’re giving away your whole virtual training before you even start. Why should they attend and pay attention?

Result of using a handout: Your attendees have takeaway value from you. They have adopted your ideas to solving their challenges. And, they have your contact information so they will remember you–and you can get more teaching opportunities or business.

To get dozens of tips on how to go online with confidence, see the video of my webinar Masterclass: How to Take your Classroom Online.